Virgil Goode in Danville

Franklin County’s Virgil Goode speaks to a crowd at the Sutherlin Mansion in Danville on Sunday, Aug. 2.

Former congressman and Constitution party presidential candidate Virgil Goode will head Donald Trump’s 5th Congressional District leadership team, according to a news release from the Trump presidential campaign Wednesday.

Goode served in Congress from 1997 to 2008 as a Democrat, independent and Republican. He is also a former state legislator.

In 2008, Goode lost his seat to Democrat Tom Perriello, who lost to Republican Rep. Robert Hurt in 2010. Hurt currently represents the 5th District.

“Contrary to the claims of the political consultant class, Mr. Trump is the only candidate who can defeat Hillary Clinton. Millions of Republican voters stayed home in 2008 and 2012 because they felt the GOP represented the interests of Wall Street rather than those of working Americans,” Goode said in the news release. “Donald Trump is the best candidate to connect with voters who feel disaffected from both parties.”

Goode could not be reached for additional comment at his Rocky Mount law office.

The 5th Congressional District sprawls through Virginia’s Piedmont from Fauquier County through Charlottesville, Lynchburg and part of the state’s southern tier.

Franklin County and most of Bedford County are within the 5th District.

Goode, whose 2012 presidential campaign slogan was “Citizenship Matters,” has long called for building a fence on the nation’s Southern border. Trump has championed that idea throughout his campaign.

The release said other leadership team members include Republican Party of Virginia State Central Committee member Renee Trent Maxey, Moneta-area businessman and political activist Jim McKelvey, and Lynchburg-area attorney Susan Oliver.

Oliver and McKelvey could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

“I am proud to announce these fantastic additions to my Virginia leadership team. We have had tremendous crowds and enthusiasm from supporters across the state,” Trump said in the news release.

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